Being a professional wedding planner is one of the most rewarding careers. But, just like becoming a true expert in any field, it’s not without it’s needs and challenges. And today, we wanted to talk about how to set yourself up for success through learning, creating a process for yourself, and changing things up as you grow as a professional.
Set Your Foundation
Whether you are taking the first steps to become a professional wedding planner or already have a number of weddings under your belt, it’s never too late too set your foundation. Building a business or career in an ever evolving market like the wedding industry, means there is always something to learn and taking the time to actually learn it does nothing but set yourself up for long term success.
One of the reasons the team here at Aisle Planner loves LVL Academy so much is how much effort Heather and Lindsay put into securing a line up of real experts from the industry! Having the opportunity to build a foundation with knowledge from people who have been in your shoes, made mistakes (and learned from them), and continue to refine their business, brand, and process is invaluable!
Our honest opinion? Attending LVL Academy puts you ahead of the game by giving you the strongest foundation to grow your career off of.
Document Your Process
Here at APHQ, we are strong believers in documentation. Our calendars are booked with appointments, our to-dos live on digital checklists (because we have been known to misplace a paper list from time to time), and we write down our process and expectations. Why? Because doing things without a game plan or documented process leaves room for error and we’ve “errored” a time or two. Even if you are starting from scratch, it is important to use the knowledge that you have to build out a few key elements. From even a basic workflow to knowing what information lives where, you need to outline the most important milestones in your planning process and map out your client experience.
So, where do you start? By putting things “on paper” and giving them a home in wedding planning tools like Aisle Planner! When you take the time to document your workflow and customize templates for proposals, contracts, project templates, and budgets, you are less likely to forget something. Plus, it helps you to standardize your planning process and client experience as well as gives you something to come back to when figuring out what worked and what didn’t – which brings us to our next point.
Figure Out What You Could Do Better
As a professional wedding planner, it is important to take a set back and take a hard look at your “customer-facing” process or experience. This may not be easy for you but, opening yourself up for feedback from the vendors you worked with for feedback as well as your couples will help you become better at what you do. Take their constructive feedback and make adjustments to your planning process where it makes sense to and carry those lessons into your next wedding.
The other thing you should do is ask yourself, “What was stressful on my end? And how can I make it less stressful for myself or my team?” Because, in addition to continually refining your customer-facing process or experience, you should do the same with your internal process (which you should think of as a living thing that is going to grow and change over time).
Adjust Your Process
Speaking of changes, once you get the feedback and ask yourself those questions, you actually have to make the changes! Sometimes that can just mean small tweaks, sometimes it means big changes. We are constantly revisiting our process and tweaking how we manage budgets for events we participate in, adding tasks and reminders in checklists where we maybe dropped the ball, or doing ourselves a favor and taking the time to template something so it’s easier the next go around.
Our advice to you when you make it to this stage? Don’t be stubborn! Making changes does not mean you failed and it really will help you grow. Being a professional wedding planner is a fantastic career and by investing in yourself to learn what you need to, get the tools that will help you work more efficiently, and surrounding yourself with the best in the industry, you’ll thrive while doing something you love!
Hope to see you in November!
Tayler & team AP